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Trip Reports - 2015

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April 13 - Survey of the Long Path through Thacher Park
With the very generous participation of Jim Shaller and his wife Bonnie, the three other participants of this hike were treated to a fascinating guide to the many historical points along this route. Some of what Jim told us concerned the the actual route of the Indian Ladder, the transactions which took place between Jim Thomas (the Weatherguard founder) and the Open Space Institute, and the agreement which was made to keep some of the northern lands mowed and open. As always, the views were spectacular. We saw a raven actually do a flip over while in flight,three times. The buzzards were out and gracefully gliding around in the updrafts. The trail was clear for its entire distance, unlike the Fred Schroeder trail which the Shallers spent a lot of time this past winter clearing. We had half a lunch at a pavilion along the way, then enjoyed the other half at the high point, before continuing the last mile to the Old Stage Road trailhead.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Jim Shaller, Bonnie Shaller, David Esmond, Emily Patton

April 11 - Sage's Ravine and Bear Mountain
With a bit of anticipatory worry about possible icy conditions, the leader and four other hikers started our hike. We started out with microspikes as a camper at the AMC camping area near the trailhead told us that we would need them. The leader and another hiker had traversed the same route about a week before and the amount of ice and snow that had melted in that amount of time was amazing. There were still some patches of ice, but mostly it was soft snow although not deep enough to make for unpleasant hiking. We beheld the ravine at it's rip roaring best, and checked out the camping area along the ravine. The climb up Bear was made much easier due to the amount of bare rock now visible. We hunkered down as best we could against the strong chilly wind for lunch while observing some young people arriving at the summit with t shirts and sneakers. The finale of this hike was a pleasant jaunt down the western side, where we didn't even need our microspikes or traction devices.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mary McDonald, John Susko, Jean Laverdure, Mike Boucher

March 21 - Goodnow Mountain
It was snowing lightly as John, Nancy and I began our hike up Goodnow Mountain. We chose to use microspikes and carry our snowshoes as the trail looked firmly packed. A little less than a mile into the hike, we did need to switch to snowshoes as we ran into deeper and softer snow. This mountain has beautiful views from a couple of spots on the trail, as well as magnificent views from the firetower, and though the day was generally overcast, the views were still awe inspiring. I loved a comment from Nancy that she needs to get to the mountains to "take it all in and carry it back". We so agree on that!!
The snowshoes came off to climb the firetower and back on as we made our way down to the cabin where we ate lunch on the porch which provided a nice respite from the wind. We headed back down the mountain and at the parking lot me a Girl Scout leader and about 6 young teenage girls about to head up. We had the opportunity to chat with them a bit and it turns out the leader is a member of our chapter. Overall a wonderful day for hiking with good company and good conversation!

  Leader: John Tifft  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Nancy Schuller

"Selfie" with Nancy, Ellen and John

February 11 - X-C skiing
Only 3 of us set out for Notchview X-C center with the plan of meeting a 4th. When we arrived, we learned from the many buses in the parking lot and the 100s of teenagers everywhere that the Massachusetts statewide x-c meet had been rescheduled for today! We surveyed the seen and quickly decamped to Pine Ridge where we met our contemporaries, contemplating the quiet of the Rensselaer Plateau.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Virginia Parsons, Mary MacDonald

February 4 - County Forest ski/snowshoe
We met at Schenectady County Forest trailhead, but the parking lot had not been plowed since Monday's 15 inches of snow fell. We shuttled to a side street where we parked, and drove the drivers back to County Forest, where Will had dug out one parking place. We did a lovely loop on beautiful deep soft untracked snow. The skiers broke trail, followed by the 3 snowshoers. We then went to the Crowther house, and 5 of us skied some of the trails there, before coming inside for a long lunch.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Ellen Kozlowski, Dave Esmond, Anneliese Lawson, Anne Finch

Lunch at the Crowthers after skiing/snowshoeing

January 28 - Grafton State Park X-C and snowshoe
Six brave souls set off at 5F on the Spruce Bog trail, some on snow shoes and others on skis. There were about 8" of new powder on a good base so the trail was decent but unbroken. The woods were beautiful, draped in white. We made a short loop, returned to the car and the skiiers switched to snowshoes and we set off again around Mill Pond, up NIMO, down to Long Lake and back along Second Lake and across Mill Pond.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dave Esmond, Ray Henrikson, Katie Henrikson, Bob Armao, Charlie Beach

Are we racing?  Photo by Charlie Beach

January 21 - X-C skiing, Prospect Mt. VT
Four hearty souls set out from bright, crisp, and a frozen Albany area to arrive in a brigher, crisper (5F), but wonderfully groomed Prospect Mt in Woodford VT. For the morning we had most of the trails to ourselves. By noon, others had joined us.
This outing had been scheduled for Notchview in Windsor MA, but icy conditions and limited trails made the leader change the venue.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dave Esmond, Mike Boucher, Ray Henrikson

January 1 - New Year's Day Hike
This New Year's Day hike was in conjunction with our chapter of AMC's annual meeting and pot luck social. We were a group of 11 participants and enjoyed the walk in Five Rivers Environmental Preserve. We had anticipated of course this being a snowshoe hike which would have been a bit more challenging endurance wise, but we were challenged nevertheless with maneuvering over roots and downed branches, especially in the areas where we had to go around icy areas. Hot cider and lunch awaited us at Elm Park and Recreation. All in all an enjoyable morning.

  Leader: John Tifft  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Dee Wind, Frank Wind, Thomas Welsh, Bradley Mohr, Deb Richards, Gerry Weber, Ann Fakundiny, Jill Nagy, George Nagy

January 1 - New Years Day Hike at Five Rivers
An around the perimeter walk of the nearby outdoor treasure called Five Rivers by eleven participants. The day was a continuation of the very cold weather that had been dominating the area prior to this date. However all seemed to have warmed by the walk. Some of the participants voiced a renewed admiration for all that Five Rivers has to offer.

  Leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: John Tifft, Tom Walsh, Dee Portzer, Frank Wind, Dee Wind, George Nagy, Jill Nagy, Brad Mohr, Anne Finch, Gerry Webber

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